The Man with the Lucky Emerald Ring

I don't know about you, but watching The Wizard of Oz as a small child back in the 1970s did something to my brain. 

You may be thinking, is that what turned him into a raving addy unable to stop betting even when his old Grandad dressed up as the Wizard of Oz, hid behind a curtain, and used a voice machine to try and convince him of a more conscientious road to wander. 

Instead, he went astray with the flying monkeys and dated a green-faced witch who was teetotal and wouldn't even take a sip of water. 

I wonder what happened to her?

Where would the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Dorothy (not forgetting little Toto) be without following the yellow brick road?

I'm sure if it had been a green road it would have led straight to Paddy Power, in Ireland, next to a Leprechaun who ate four-leaved clover. 

L. Frank Baum's masterpiece, released in 1939, is still a wonderful film, and the book: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) is even better. 

One Christmas, I heard someone say they were bored with watching The Wizard of Oz

I never looked upon the person in the same way again. 

I was horrified. 

But getting back to my brain and fascination with emeralds. I think, like a child playing in the dirt, some emerald dust must have entered my bloodstream and become part of my biochemistry.  

My nervous system, synapses, and neurotransmitters are triggered when I see a real emerald and it bestows luck on the wearer of the ring and myself. 

Instead of dopamine, I've got emeraldamine in my grey matter. 

At the casino, you often see a gentleman wearing a ring on his little finger. Not too many, but one every so often. 

I'm looking for the man with the emerald ring. 

As yet, this elusive soul has been nowhere to be seen.

It's not one of these clean emeralds, it has those misty-looking things with opacity. 

The day I see a man wearing such a ring at the casino I'm betting on the same number on the roulette and something tells me I'll be a winner. 

Our last post was this: Lady Luck - Great Yarmouth Style

Free Drinks at the Bar

Free Drinks at the Bar
Who doesn't like a free drink? 

I often ask people if they have been to a casino. Many react in shock. ''I've never been to a casino.'' 

It's like you've asked them if they've had a threesome with Charles And Eddie.   

I guess it's all about being labeled a gambler so that means you are an addict, frothing at the mouth, a fixation to lose money. You know, not every gambler lacks discipline and suffers from psychopathology. 

All of you puritans who hold up a crucifix to the slot machine are simply victims of the stereotype. You probably believe every french man rides around on a cycle, wearing a beret with a string of onions hanging from his neck. 

(I didn't capitalise the f in French because I wanted you to think I had made a mistake.)

See, you're gullible.

I can make you believe everything I want. 

You're a victim of the human condition and sadly while your brain works efficiently - like a well-oiled machine - it's weak through synaptic voids and manifestations.  

Poor soul. 

I don't blame you, personally, it's nature and nurture. 

You're like a robin that fell out of its nest.

You know, I only say all this mumbo jumbo to make you think and challenge you.   

We all know the aim of the casino is to get you inside and lose all your money. None of the staff is going to tell you this or give you a little booklet detailing they want to rob you blind, because that's part of the illusion of gambling. In truth, gambling is whatever you want to make it. Just like everything else. 

For instance, you could go to the casino and drink all night long and it doesn't cost you a penny. 

True, that's only tea, coffee, and soft drinks, but when you consider elsewhere they probably cost you a couple of quid a time, you are on a winner. In fact, they often have free promotions, free bets, match bets, and lots more. 

Far from being a place that's costly, most casinos are the place you should visit because the food is cheap and the setting and service excellent. 

Once again, it simply proves that people see what they want to see. You didn't look to see the truth. 

For a cheap night out the casino is the place to go. 

Let's face it, watching someone win or lose money (not you) has got to be better than sitting at home watching Emmerdale. 

Read our last smashing post: The Man with the Lucky Emerald Ring

Life & Death in Las Vegas

I can't say I have ever been to Las Vegas. 

Being a fan of Hunter S. Thompson I've read the book and watched the film: Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.  

Would I like to go there? I guess I'd like to see what all the fuss is about. They say you shouldn't stay for more than three nights. 

Your guess is as good as mine regarding why that fourth day is, potentially, so problematic.

I can imagine:

Is 72-hours enough time to lose all your money?

Enough time to say 'I Do' to an Elvis Presley look-a-like. 

Be accosted by a prostitute and ripped off. 

Beaten up by a pimp. 

Or, shot dead. 

You will notice that nothing bad has ever happens in Las Vegas! Nothing negative is ever reported. It's against the law. Literally. There are no robberies, suicides, mass shootings... 

Nothing happens in Nevada. Well, nothing bad. Only life-changing, positive moments of winning, getting married and it's happily ever after.

They don't want any bad PR. 

So don't ask too many questions. 

I remember watching one of the episodes of Louis Theroux, Gambling In Las Vegas. You're greeted by an array of sad people with even sadder stories. A place where your friends taunt you with lyrics from Kenny Roger's song, The Gambler, until you either rob a bank, kill a croupier, jump off the top of the Bellagio Hotel or just book your flight to do it all over again next year.

Theroux, forever straight-faced, asked a guest how much money they had lost. 

''Ten!''

''Dollars?''

''No, thousand!''

Or the old women who played the slots and lost millions and laughed about the loss of her son's future inheritance. 

If ever a women needed to trip down a long flight of stairs, she was the ideal candidate. 

Nothing stops the money-making juggernaut. 

An armed robbery took place in one casino where a gun went off as a security guard wrestled with an assailant, a tourist in the wrong place at the wrong time, shot in the head, killed instantly, laying in a pool of blood. 

The casino was shut for 20-minutes as the body was removed, a square of blood-stained carpet removed and replacement glued down as if nothing ever happened. 

Not a word in the local papers, news channels, anywhere.

''Did you hear about the person shot dead at that casino the other night?''

''No. It didn't happen!''

Nothing stops the pursuit of making easy cash. 

Not even Kenny Roger's playing a new tune on an old fiddle. 


Read our last magnificent post: The Richest People on Planet Earth

The Richest People on Planet Earth?

How do we measure the worth of a person?

In today's world your worth, my worth, their worth is based on bank balance. As they say, money talks. Even from a religious point of view the Bible says: ''Money answereth all things.'' 

But, remember, that is all things you can buy. 

And we all know, the most important things, relationships with others, often have little to do with pounds, shillings and pence. 

(I know they do too, but you know what I mean).

It often makes me wonder what the richest people on planet Earth are all about: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett. 

How much money do you need? 

Perhaps all of these people get a bad press. Perhaps they get a good press. I'd like to think they are very generous giving money to help others, support charities and making the world a brighter place. 

I have no idea what they do. 

It would be a sorry state of affairs if they were truly mean spirited like a modern-day Scrooge. 

Something tells me they are not.

My approach to having such wealth would be finding ways to give it away to people who really need it but in a way that helps them look after themselves. 

The fishing rod rather than the fish.

It doesn't do anyone a favour to be dependent on others so the only way they get money is when they have a disaster because you will find their life is one long disaster and they will eternally follow a road to the poor house and skint because of a lack of learning as much as wealth. 

Year's ago, while studying for a degree in Psychology with the Open University I worked one day a week at the Isle College, in my birth town of Wisbech in Cambridgeshire. 

They used to say the capital of the Fens had a worse crime rate than New York for population. 

The special needs class, had plenty of male students but very few male Learning Support Assistants which didn't help when every Wednesday they went swimming and needed a bloke to keep to an eye on proceedings and make sure no one went absent without leave (so to speak). 

While Tom swam one mile a hour, I struggled with a twenty lengths or so...

I'd never worked within education or with students with special needs. From being a past student when taking an Access Certificate to Higher Education it was a place I was very familiar and would lead my journey back into education and, years later, my prized degree. 

It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. 

Without realising it, I walked into a classroom, more nervous than the students, and met some of the most magical, insightful and wonderful young people I could ever wish to find. 

Young men and women from late teens to their early twenties. 

The most accepting, humourous, funny and loving, intelligent, humans on Earth. 

Rich, they would make Elon Musk look like a cheap aftershave. 

Weeks past and I was one of the gang. I was there to supervise but it was more like having a day out with your mates. Well, a day out at the College. In fact, I'm pretty sure most of the mainstream students thought I was one of the special people. If they did, I took it as a compliment. 

I worked closely with two students. I won't mention their names for obvious reasons. 

Clark* was a young man in his early twenties: tall, beautiful hair, chiseled cheek bones and defined jaw line, model features. You wouldn't believe this, but knowing different shapes can change your life.

I mean, who would believe such a story?

It's true. 

He, like many of the students, had been in the care system from an early age and had the opportunity to find a very loving family. However, this decision would be made in court. The future of this young man was in the hands of a judge. 

Thank heavens for the trapezium!

It may have been the boid, rhombus or pentagon. 

Clark had a fascination with shapes. I think he was a Professor of Shapes. You could have unveiled the most obscure shape you've ever seen (or not).

He knew it. 

Instantly.

If someone said ''scutoid'' I'd be convinced it was a body part.

In fact, sitting next to him in class, I felt seriously lacking. If their had been a test on shapes the whole class new who would be getting A+. 

The family court judge thought the same. 

At the court hearing, Clark had his box of shapes, showing the world and his wife (and the judge) that there wasn't a shape in the universe that he didn't know. 

As soon as the judge witnessed the Professor of Shapes doing his thing, he didn't need to think too long or hard. 

He knew more shapes than the judge! 

What could he say. 

''Have a wonderful life, young man, it's time to go home.''

The other young man was incredible. For such a young life he had so many operations on his feet and legs. When changing for swimming, the scars where painful to see. However, nothing could dampen his spirits or his gift to me, you and everyone who took a moment to feel his nuclear energy couldn't help but smile and feel their heart swell with pride. 

He was the most humourous person I have ever met. It was like the best ten comedians you have ever seen wrapped up in a body that didn't work perfectly, but like the bald man using his bonce as a prop he took everything in his slightly-limping stride. 

Once in the class I asked him to write a few words. He wrote a scribble and was pleased with his effort. It said exactly what I had asked (to him). It looked like the signature of Warren Buffett. 

It didn't matter a jot. 

Becuase as I walked with this young man to the refectory, everyone who saw him had a smile on their face, new his name and clearly loved him. 

In fact, when we entered the refectory (stage doors), it was like an audience had seen the star act appear. The beaming smiles, people waving, saying his name...and in return they saw the man himself shine like the brightest star. He waved, blew kisses and after deciding what looked the best thing on the menu we sat down for lunch. 

What I learned is that the richest people come in all shapes and sizes, and they are just waiting for you to realise who they are. 

Someone special.

Read our last post: Birds, Booze & Bookies

Betting Like The Man Who Wears Brut

What does the late Henry Cooper and Vinnie Jones have in common?

Both hard men, the former definitely, the latter, probably more in words and attitude than throwing knockout punches. A duo of successful sportsmen who have made their mark and well-known names.  

Sir Henry Cooper renowned for knocking down Muhammed Ali in 1963, when many considered he was the rightful winner of the bout if not for a bit of jiggery pokery from the American's corner. 

I'll let you make your own mind up on that point. 

If he hadn't suffered from cuts, the Lambeth man may well have been the World Heavyweight title holder. However, he was still undefeated for 12 years as a British and Commonwealth champion. 

In his 55 fights, he achieved 40 wins, 27 by knockout and all-round good bloke who did a lot for charity. 

His last fight saw a points loss (after a brawling 15-round contest) to Joe Bugner, who wasn't ever particularly liked or rated by the UK crowds. 

Vinnie Jones was a noted footballer from 1984 - 1999 playing for a number of clubs (Wimbledon, Leeds United, Sheffield United...) and played for Wales. 

Multi-talented, he is now an actor and presenter in blockbuster films such as Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and many other starring roles.

Although generations apart - they are both the face of Brut.

Launched by  Faberge in 1964, it was very popular in the 1970s. I must admit, I do like a dash of Brut, with its fresh, distinctive smell. 

It's still battling against the big names in the world of odor cologne. (Don't forget that the contents of any aftershave cost less than the manufacture of the bottle!) 

I have been to a good few casinos and after a hefty session, where losing money only comes second to heavy-sweating and the consumption of copious amount of alcohol, I was struck by the waft of a man-who-wears Brut. 

It was a welcome relief.  

My thoughts of a gambler who wears Brut are of a man in his fifties, a wad of cash in his pocket and a nostalgia for the good old days where men were men and women were women and political correctness hadn't been given birth. 

Here's my image of the Brut gambler.

A man who isn't swayed by fashion and never bets online loving the race track or brick-and-mortar casino in favour of some mysterious app on a phone. 

If you're looking to transform your man, whether birthday, Christmas or bar mitzvar then buy your budding gambler a bottle of Brut. 

Who knows, he may turn into a gambling hero of the likes we have never seen before. 

If all else fails, at least he will smell nice.

Read our last brilliant post: Betting on your Faith

How to Lose a Million Gambling

People gamble for a myriad of reasons. 

It may be a reason you haven't yet discovered, appreciate or understand. That sentence may  seem ridiculous. 

''I bet to win money!'' 

I guess that's the logical reason but if you get beyond the surface structure of anything there may be more to it than meets the eye. For most gamblers who bet a few quid here and there it might not matter. Although even a few quid lost each week can be a lot of money over a lifetime. I'm not going to tell you what to do. You're a grown up, you do as you do. I hope for your sake, especially if you have a family, you're responsible. 

I don't want to lecture anyone. I respect people who like a bet. I mean, I've been betting just about all of my adult life. It's something I have thought about much, considered wisely, and appreciate the pros and cons. 

Unlike many who bet, I'm not naive. 

Having little understanding of anything can be dangerous. You don't have the experience to appreciate why something is a terrible idea until you are in the middle of a problem which may change your life for the worse. 

To be fair, the majority of people I know don't bet big money. They don't bet big money because they don't feel comfortable pushing their luck. It's all about doing what feels right for you. It's your money, your life, and I respect that. 

In fact, I would never suggest anyone has a bet unless they appreciate the pros and the cons. 

The difficulty with that perspective is that for the newbie gambler that isn't going to happen. I very much doubt it is the way you started gambling or me. Even with myself being a very careful gambler in my younger years, how could I be anything but wet behind the ears. 

To be honest, as with most things in life, we need to learn a few lessons and those experiences are often needed to keep us on the straight and narrow, and perhaps although costly at the time, were a valuable if not cheap lesson to learn from. 

Who wouldn't rather learn a lesson for £5 compared to one that costs £50,000?

I've seen a few big bettors at the casinos. 

You get a strange mix at these places - form the celebrity, to the down and out, to the rich and those who just fancy a night out and bit of fun. 

Good luck to them all. 

I've seen a few gamblers who wouldn't bat and eye at betting a grand on the spin of the roulette wheel. 

I don't think it's the best idea. 

These bigger money gamblers have a very strange character. I can only describe them as emotionless. That worries me. It's a strange contrast when the bloke next to them is huffing and puffing at the loss of £50 when their grand went down the chute with it and you could have sworn they lost a tenner. 

Don't fall into the trap that the more someone bets the more they know. 

It's often the reverse. 

Anyone who bets at the casino - unless they are cheating or card counting or have some knowledge that isn't the norm - knows they are betting on fixed odds. The house edge is there to guarantee one person a profit. 

The casino. 

Not to say you cannot increase your chances of winning. 

However, that's a story for another day. 

If you are one of these bigger gamblers at the casino, even if you have a bucket-load of cash, you need to stop for a moment and think what you are doing.

Because my ten pound is your thousand pounds. Meaning, your normal bet is a grand and you bet like its a tenner going out of fashion. 

Believe it or not, but it doesn't take long to lose a million pounds gambling. 

In fact, it can happen in three or four years without too much trouble at all. 

Just because someone at the casino is betting a grand a spin doesn't mean they are a professional gambler, knowledgeable, sensible, astute, or any other word which gives the impression they know more than Joe Blogs nursing his stack of 50p chips. 

To be fair, the bloke betting the big money isn't doing himself any favours at all. 

And time may tell they lose all their money. 

You've heard of the big-time gamblers betting millions and then someone spots them driving an Uber cab because their broke. 

Or worse still, the random bloke who jumps off a multistory car park.  

At least if you gamble with little you may have a lot to gain. One thing is for sure if you are a millionaire the last thing you ever want to do is gamble big money. 

Why?

You have nothing to gain and everything to lose. 

Gambling isn't really the problem. It's the gambler who is so often the problem. And I can tell you this, if it wasn't gambling it would be something else. 

The wise man built his house upon the rocks. 

If you don't understand the good, bad and ugly of gambling - just give it some time. But you'll only appreciate what it is saying to you if you really want to listen. 

Gambling is no different to any business. While someone is going broke, that clever bloke down the road is making a killing. 

It's nothing to do with gambling - it's all about the person. 

If you want to make money gambling you need to start from small cash because you will appreciate the money you win. 

If you're a millionaire with a love of gambling then do yourself a favour and bet like your the poorest person in the room. 

Read our last post: Betting Like You Use Brut

Why a Casino Makes a Perfect Birthday Venue

You may wonder why I suggest going to a casino for a birthday bash. 

Surely, there are much better places to go? Just stay at home and tuck into that Victoria sponge your old aunt made. 

As you may know, if you read this blog, I love to visit Great Yarmouth and the Grosvenor Casino. In fact, I'm sure most of you think I have shares in the company. 

Nothing to do with The Rank Group. 

So why would you want to go to a casino for a birthday party?

I've actually got experience of this as I saw my cousin sashay about the casino and get lots of freebies. One thing about casinos is they want to keep their customers happy. They rarely say no! That's a real blessing for those who want a free birthday cake, free pint and even a free match bets. In fact, if you make the staff smile you will be well looked after all night long. 

My cousins managed to get a few pints and while playing three card poker, they even brought a birthday cake with umpteen lit candles and a rendition of ''Happy Birthday to you...'' I think they stopped at the part ''I saw a fat monkey and I thought it was you!''

Anyway, the freebies must have added up to £30 or so. Not bad for an enjoyable night at the casino. 

Great Yarmouth is a brilliant seaside destination and a place I have many fond memories all to do with our childhood holidays at Caister-on-sea, a stone's throw from Great Yarmouth. With the racecourse, greyhound track and a couple of casinos to choose from it is a location where gamblers can go and have some fun. 

In fact, you can get a hotel as cheap as cheap, or spend a little more and enjoy a stay at Andover House Hotel, at Camperdown. They have a lovely place, no children under 13 allowed and they don't have idiots shouting about in the middle of the night, which seems a hazard every time I'm stopped at the Comfort Hotel (they really need to change their name to Permanently Harassed Hotel).

Anyway, I love Great Yarmouth and for a Jolly Boys Outing, it's the place to be. 

Definitely stop by Pamela's Restaurant down Wellington Road, about two hundred metes from Andover House and the Grosvenor Casino. However, you won' be getting a free cake from there, bu it will taste good.

The Gambler Who Bumps into you Twice

The casino is a melting pot of different people. 

That doesn't have to be a bad thing. It's nice to meet new people, have a chat, share your gambling highs and lows. It's good to be sociable. Who doesn't like to be part of the casino crowd?

However, it is often too easy to judge the world through your own eyes. How else are you going to judge it, you may say?

True. 

But you know something, the man who wears those oval pinked-lensed designer shades, he sees the world through rose-tinted glasses. 

Yes, even when they are pink. 

And that can be a problem. 

Why? 

Because you just never know who is watching you, what's their story, what kind of person they are, and if they are sizing you up to take advantage. 

Now you may be saying: ''That's a pretty sinister way of viewing people and the world.''

You're right, it is. 

If everyone was Mother Teresa you wouldn't need to watch your back because she'd be there doing just that as she blessed you on your way. 

But it's something worthy of consideration when you don't know the people. 

You know who you are. 

You may know that you are a good, kind, and decent person. Perhaps someone watching from across the room sees the same thing and instead of seeing that as the positive, they see it as a good reason to take advantage of the next sucker in their line of sight.

There are lots of ways someone can get your attention, to start that conversation, and 99% of the people you meet won't be a problem. In fact, they could turn out to be a blessing. 

But always take note of that first introduction and how it comes about. 

The first sign that someone unfamiliar has stepped into your personal space or trying to make a connection. 

Always think about this because it's very important. 

If you are walking about the casino and someone bumps into you by mistake and apologises you may think nothing of it. But if the same thing happens a day or week later and the person registers with you and starts a conversation because they seem familiar. 

Be very careful of this person. 

The chances are, this was no accident, and they have an ulterior motive. 

If they stop to chat and take any interest in you. 

Simply walk away.

Read our last amazing post: Losing £1 Billion to Win a Pound

Tuesday, 1:12 AM (You're Taking A Gamble)

They say time waits for no man. 

In truth, time waits for no one - animal or beast. Not animal, mineral or vegetable. But time does predict certain things and may help reason why some poor soul come unstuck simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

It's one of the reasons why you should consider that life is a gamble. Even if you don't want to face the truth, imagine it's a load of mumbo jumbo or fool yourself that there are no such things as odds to chance. You know, those odds don't just stop at the end of a bookmaker's fingers as he chalks up prices on the board of Honest Joe's pitch on a cold afternoon, Cartmel at 3:45. Funnily enough, you are much more likely to be kicked in the head and die at the hooves of an errant thoroughbred horse if you want to check out your policy with Sun Life (no medical needed before or after the tragedy). Sadly, you won't get much for the price of a cup of coffee. 

Anyway, I'm not getting into all this life's a gamble as I don't really want to bore you to death. 

You may be thinking one time of day is pretty much the same as another. 

However, thinking about it, we all know that isn't true. 

It shouldn't surprise you that the early hours are more fraught with danger than Sunday afternoon, drinking tea and eating cucumber sandwiches with the vicar of St John's Church. 

If you want to play it safe please lock yourself away every Tuesday night (morning) at 1:12am. (Preferably alone.)

You may be thinking, I'll do what I want. I'm a bloody night owl. I've played Cluedo enough times to know that Reverend Green wasn't attacked by a wretched monkey (I mean monkey wrench) in the billiard room. 

So keep your gambling, death-wishing thoughts to yourself. 

However, you may be gambling with your life. 

Because a detective who worked on homicide all his career decided to work out the day and time you are most likely to be murdered.

Tuesday, 1:12 am. 

If I were you, every Tuesday I'd go to bed at 1:11am, and please don't provoke your spouse 30 seconds later because it's usually your nearest and dearest who want to kill you most! 

(Statistically)

Read our last breathtaking post: The Man With 3 Hats

Birds, Booze & Bookies...

I heard that quote uttered from the mouth of Terry Mcann while watching an episode of Minder. 

It was made in reference to a rogue football player, very much in the mould of George Best. I guess they didn't want to say his name for legal reasons.

As it happened the actor playing the role of the said footballer was a bronzed and very good looking Karl Howman. He was a big name in TV back in the mid-to-late 80s in Brush Strokes, Mulberry and other worthy dramas. More recently, he played Buster Briggs in EastEnders from 2014 - 2016. 

(What a depressing pile of shite...)

Both Dennis Waterman and Howman now senior citizens haven't aged too badly considering the actor's life must be one of famine or feast. 

When I hear the quote: Birds, Booze and Bookies it reminds me of a turn of phrase from the 1970s. 

A time when men had open-chested shirts, excessive hair and a medallion.

Isn't it strange how these days no one works in factories any more.

Considering the first episode of Minder started in 1979 and the last in 1994 I may be stretching the chronology a touch. Perhaps it was made in reference to years gone by as I'm not sure if Minder was actually set in the present day (as it was back then).

George Cole playing the role of Arthur Daley, the Winchester Club with Dave behind the bar and the only place on planet Earth where you could ask for a VAT and it didn't cost you an additional 20%. 

I hate to say it, but the worst part of Minder was when Gary Webster turned up. If you haven't got a clue who I'm talking about, it's a generational thing.

I guess many of our old TV programs are now struggling with the test of time. It was a different era where you wasn't one of the boys if you didn't say something sexist, racist or dubious every other sentence. 

The only people to adorn a beard were teachers, magicians and pedophiles. 

There's a reason why Alaskan men have a beard. (It's cold!)

In this day and age, John Lennon would have sang: ''A working-class hero is something to be...but you're still f****** peasants as far as I can see...''

But some do-gooder would have changed it to fromage-making peasants...

Fromage is French for cheese. 

How times have changed. 

Once upon a time you could afford to go to the pub and drink 10 pints. 

You'd chat up a bird and they didn't give you the look of the devil because you dared to open a door.  

And bookies were a place punters went to get away from the birds while nipping in and out of the pub to get boozed up. 

I know it's a fact that as we get older the good, old days seem much better, enjoyable, fun and real. 

I guess all future generations will look back and think the same. 

However, I think the day is coming when the youngsters of today look back and forward and say: ''It was shit then, and it's even worse shit now, and the future looks distinctly shitty.''

It's the same with gambling. 

In the old days win, lose or draw punters just got on with it. They appreciated - however hard - that if they done their dough it was their own stupid fault. 

Bookmakers and gambling has changed into a mirage of caring. When the shit hits the fan, wipe your arse and stop eating curries...''

The bookmakers follow sport around like a dark cloud with a pretend rainbow flickering like an old gal lighting a fag. Look closer and you see the cloud is made of cotton wool, air-sprayed for realism, a splodge in a blue sky hiding a shoal of hungry piranha.

Bookmakers are not what they seem. 

They have nothing to do with gambling and all about manipulation of the people they call customers. 

I don't know about you, but I'd quite like to go back to the days of Birds, Booze and (True) Bookies. 

I'm sure John Lennon would ask: Where the f*** has Honest Joe disappeared to?

Somehow, it was a very different world.

Read our last post: You Can't Have A Big Appetite In Someone Else's Refrigerator

Betting With Matchsticks Changed My Life

Betting often gets a bad press. 

I can understand the pros and cons. To be fair unless you have experience gambling you really shouldn't bet with anything other than matchsticks. 

You may say: ''Why would you bother!''

No one's forcing you to bet. 

However, compared with betting cold, hard cash you'll be doing yourself a favour by betting Swan Vestas. 

Betting real money for fun, in my opinion, is a ridiculous idea. Losing isn't fun. Who wants to be a loser? 

If you do, you should question why and stop.

So why would you want to bet with matchsticks?

Because you can learn and understand how to win. You may learn something which helps make your whole life a success.

That small action can make a meaningful difference. 

Betting isn't about money. That may sound a stupid comment but it's true. Betting is all about understanding your subject matter. It may be poker, horse racing, greyhounds, stocks and share, even betting on the weather. 

It doesn't matter what popular or obscure subject you follow with a passion.

The word passion is important. 

What matters is that you enjoy your subject matter with a passion and motivated to learn more. Your starting point to betting real money is when you know your subject more than your average Joe. In fact, you should wish to know much more than your seasoned punter and feel you are exceptionally knowledgeable. 

Why?

Because if you don't, you will lose.

That's why you bet with matchsticks because a box of a hundred red-headed splinters of wood costs little. 

Knowledge is power. You don't, generally, win money because you bet cold, hard cash. Money is simply a token for something else. 

You should and shouldn't worry about betting cold hard cash. Because you should worry with regard to your knowledge. 

If you know little about your subject matter - you know little, full stop. You are guaranteed to lose. That loss doesn't need to happen and it shouldn't be acceptable. 

Use your understanding of the gamble to bet wisely.

Gambling is criticised by many for good reason. But what you have to understand is that you can actually learn a lot about life from gambling. If you don't want to gamble then that's your decision but simply ignoring that many aspects of your life are a gamble simply means your are naive, and whether you like it or not, you are lacking for that absence of knowledge. 

Don't fool yourself that thinking your life isn't a gamble means you are free of its influence or power.

You are the ostrich with your head in the sand. 

I hate to be critical, but your assessment is ridiculous.  

Gambling doesn't have to cost you a penny because the power of understanding is all in the mind, learning and the assimilation of knowledge.

You cannot escape the gambles within your life. You should embrace them and understand that by learning you may put the odds in your favour.  

It's like learning to speak a different language which brings you insight. 

For example if I said to you: ''Voulez-vous cent livres gratuitement''

Your lack of understanding the French language would have cost you £100. 

Understanding gambling is the same. 

Betting matchsticks may seem a waste of time. However, it could well be the best investment of your life - if you learn something. 

Being a successful gambler, literally, has nothing to do with money. 

If you can't see that you're a loser waiting to happen. 

The next time you say you don't gamble. Think about it. You're a gambler and you're naive. 

You shouldn't be either. 

Betting Like you've Sucked a Placebo

Psychology. 

It's Greek translation: The study of the mind

I often write about psychology. It's a fascinating subject descended from philosophy. With its many and varied perspectives, theories, and methodologies.

Very few people talk about psychology within gambling beyond psychopathology. 

Gambling addiction. 

But could it be used as a tool for advantage?

If you like your movies, you probably enjoyed The Matrix, a science-fiction film released in the UK on 11th June 1999. The screenplay was written and the film directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski. 

The leading character, Thomas Anderson, a computer programmer, is led to fight an underground war against powerful computers who have constructed his entire reality with a system called the Matrix. 

Anderson had the opportunity of taking a red or blue pill. The former would reveal an unpleasant truth while the latter would see him remain blissfully ignorant. 

I wonder if gambling success is really all in the mind. Could feeling positive or negative make a difference to your success? 

It's an interesting thought.

Even though there is no logic to support this idea, have you ever noticed how some people seem luckier than others? 

Would this make for an intriguing psychological study?

Clearly, it couldn't be skill-based. However, it could be assessed with fixed odds. 

Surely, a scientific study manipulating the variables as they do in testing hypothesis when running a psychological experiment would detail no significance. 

I would be very surprised if it didn't. 

How could it be different from chance?

You've heard of the placebo effect, hey?

Its definition: ''A beneficial effect produced by a placebo drug or treatment, which cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must, therefore, be due to the patient's belief in the treatment.''

Imagine if I could convince someone that this ''blue pill'' in your hand has the power to make them the luckiest person on Earth. 

They put the blue pill into their mouth and suck it. 

Luck dissipates throughout their body. It travels fast through the bloodstream. It gives a warm, contented feeling and they believe it will transform their gambling life. They have a life of limitless opportunities.

Would you be a luckier person for taking the pill? 

Welcome to your life of opportunity. 

Read our last amazing post: Betting From My Bed

The Man With 3 Hats

This sounds like an episode of Miss Marple. 

For all I know, it could be. Many readers will know of my love of Great Yarmouth Racecourse, which resides in Nelson Country on the Norfolk Coast, a stone's throw from Caister-on-sea. 

You may read these stories on Brasino and question if they are true. Is she using a bit of poetic licence? I was going to try and think of some witty play on words but can't think of anything that rhymes. 

However, you really don't need to concern yourself with fake news or propaganda, as this post is 100% true and I even have a witness in Dan The Man, if needed. As it happens, we were in the Trafalgar Bar at Yarmouth racecourse. Danny had a pint of Carlsberg and I had a creme de menthe, while people-watching. 

I noticed one or two well-dressed gentleman who stood out from the crowd. They didn't have a hat on their head, but elegant, and I couldn't help wonder if they had come from out of town. I don't like to be disparaging, but elegant attire isn't usually the norm at the racecourse. 

I applauded their efforts. 

Literally.

I noticed a man in his 50s at the bar. He was carrying a bag. I'm not sure whether he had bought a drink, intended to purchase Sex On The Beach (cocktail) or finger the menu. I'm pretty sure I noticed this gentleman on the terrace adorning a pink hat. It looked a bit like a bowler hat and he was wearing a pair of glasses in the style of steampunk. He caught my attention as I said to myself: 

''He's got a story to tell.''

He was deep in conversation with the lady behind the bar. One by one, he took a different coloured, styled hat from his bag. From what I could see, he had three hats. 

Danny was watching, too. Mesmerized by hats of every colour (well, three colours). The gentleman putting on one hat after another to show the lady. 

To be honest, I haven't got the slightest idea where the hats come from, whether he had made them, wore them for a photo shoot, was trying to sell them to all and sundry or just couldn't quite make up his mind when leaving his house. 

In my vivid imagination, these were magic hats. If you put one on your head, place a bet, you win. 

You may be thinking this sounds like a load of horse shite but do we really know what the man in the hat was doing? 

What was his story?

A little while later we left the bar and wandered around the betting ring. 

I never saw the man with three hats again. I'm pretty sure I won't, although if he loves Great Yarmouth he might, one day, be walking up Jellicoe Road. 

You know what?

If I see him, I'm going to pluck up the courage to ask him about his hats. 

Something tells me his story is a real gem.

Read our last graphic post: Are You Scared To Gamble?

Lady Luck - Great Yarmouth Style

Lady Luck - Great Yarmouth Style
We all need a bit of luck. 

If we can't feel the touch of the opulent four-leaf clover. Please, don't let us be struck down by adversity. Now, some gamblers scoff at those who say they got a raw deal. From a gambling perspective, horse racing can be one of those punts that sees your hair turn grey overnight, and then the next day you pull it out. 

Why?

Because your horse traveled like a winner but got stuck behind a wall of horses. This wasn't any normal wall it was like Hadrian had built it just to piss you off. In fact, if it had been a steeplechase not only would the wall be wide it would be tall. 

Touching the clouds so even Red Rum would have refused. 

Anyway, at times, we all need a little bit of something. I would rather be lucky when I have a potential big win rather than a paltry sum. 

Who wouldn't?

At the casino, Lady Luck may appear as a man called John, who has a handlebar mustache, and looks like he's crawled out of a bush. He gave you a £5 chip because he thought your luck was even worse than his. 

Sometimes you see a beautiful lady at the casino who, for all we know, could be Lady Luck. 

I mean, I am convinced bearded wonder, John, was my Lady Luck, so a Bella Donna could well be the real deal. 

My cousins love to play three-card poker at the Grosvenor Casino and one of the blokes next to him sees a gorgeous lady watching them play and looking for a little bit of Lady Luck asked her to touch his cards. 

She did and the cards were turned over to reveal a run on the bounce. 

I think it paid about 30/1 (not sure about the odds as I play the game so infrequently I can't remember and too lazy to look).

They were all smiles. 

See, Lady Luck is living and breathing at Great Yarmouth. 

As she walked away to make someone else's day my cousin said to the winner: ''I bet you wish she touched something else.''

I'm not sure if Dame Fortune goes quite that far on the first date.

Read our last post: 24-Hours Gambling at Great Yarmouth

Betting from My Bed

Betting from My Bed
I'm not sure if I should talk about this. 

I remember once seeing John McCrirrick on TV, it was a Sunday, and he was working from his bed. It was like a lay-in but getting on with the day's work, too. A number of tabloids spread about, a pot of tea, laptop resting on his legs, covered by a blanket, as he sat upright, next to him the Boobie (what he fondly called his wife). 

He was always his own man and I liked that about him. 

I hope I have detailed this scene correctly as it was many years ago. 

My old brain isn't what it used to be. 

Anyway, I find I am working more and more from my bed. 

I'm not sure if it is laziness or comfort. It could be both. Considering I'm a productive person I wouldn't put it down to laziness. It sounds slovenly. A sloth-like character, moving so-so slow, tapping keys on the keyboard, and the space bar is on delay. My little face beaming brightly like I've found a pot of honey up a tree. Or is it a raspberry cheesecake. 

And you thought only porn stars worked from their bed. 

Working from the comfort of the crib is a luxury few people can enjoy. 

Get a cup of tea, a slice of cake, and get ready for the next horse race to start. 

My bedroom is very stylish and has the look of an upmarket hotel. So I feel like I'm on vacation. Without the sea view. Unfortunately. 

Perhaps one day I won't be able to get out of bed. Old age struck me down like a sloth falling out of the branches of a tree. As long as my brain works, my fingers move (just a little) I can, hopefully, make a living from the skills I have acquired over the years. 

So the next time someone says they earn a living from the comfort of their bed. Don't raise your eyebrows in surprise. Because something tells me that more people than you imagine actually work from nine-to-five in their kingsize billet. 

I can feel a yawn coming on. 

Read our last post: The Gambler's Zero-Cost Hotel

The Bald Bloke & Dating Agency

Nothing is what it seems. 

Do you believe that people who make lots of money have laser focus, finding their niche and can, almost, see into the future?

It's all based on intelligence and being the wisest owl in a barn of owls. 

What do you think?

This is the assumption most people hold. The layman, you and me. We fall into the illusory hole that this is the way most people make lots of money while others fail miserably. It's like a Victorian thought that people who begged on the street were there simply because they were stupid rather than the fact they had few if any life chances. The Lord of the Manor wasn't, fundamentally, any different to the homosapien who was similarly made of blood, sweat and tears. 

This assumption is very often wrong.  

Often these individuals or companies aren't particularly gifted to the point they were correct about much at all. 

In fact, their original business idea evolved into something different and may even have taken a very illogical path to great fortune. 

This could well be the case for your gambling insight too. Because that original idea may well evolve to something you didn't even consider. 

I've heard this story many times before. 

For example, Viagra was originally developed as a cure for baldness. It was only when subjects were asked for their feedback that a good few men and their partners had a glint in their eye, if not a big smile on their faces. 

''By the way, I did notice something unusual.''

Quickly the thought of considering baldness was swiftly forgotten with the thought of making exceptional profits with an erection via a pill. 

It's a similar story with YouTube. It was always going to be a platform for uploading videos but in those early days the creators were looking to make the platform more popular and it was something akin to a dating platform. In fact, adverts were placed on Craig's List for young, nubile women to make videos of themselves to be uploaded on YouTube for the fee of $100. It was only later that they realised this was a bad idea and the uploading of videos took off under its own steam. 

Within a year, YouTube's founders sold the company to one of Google's subsidiaries for $1.65 billion. 

The story is very similar to Pixar who make all these amazing computer-generated films. For years the company made no money at all and Steve Jobs had to put his hand in his pocket based on the hope and dream of those who hoped technology would catch up with what simply couldn't happen at the time. From a part of the company that looked to have little hope of progressing anywhere it become the dominant money maker.

The tale of this story is to appreciate that the best ideas aren't born from that initial inception. They often evolved over time taking direction from pure luck and serendipity. 

If you want to learn more about this phenomenon, then you may wish to read Peter Sim's book Little Bets

What better subject matter for gambler with a dream.

Read our last post: It's About Positive Reinforcement